Mineola - (WALK) A pair of Long Island brothers may be bad guys who are really good at counterfeiting famous-name health and beauty products.
The professionalism of bogus brand labeling on product-evidence recovered recently is so good it's "absolutely frightening," said Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice Friday.
The accused leaders of the counterfeiting ring are brothers Hamant Mullick, 60, of Franklin Square and Pardeep Malik, 59, of Plainview. Fire officials stumbled on the operation during a routine inspection at one of five locations managed by the suspects, according to prosecutors.
Items determined to be fakes include authentic-looking knock-offs of popular products such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil, Vicks VapoRub, Vaseline, Always brand sanitary pads, and a variety of over-the-counter painkillers, cold remedies and lip balms, said Rice.
Mullick and Malik allegedly employed about 20 people and distributed their wares at stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. The value of the haul is approximately $2 million, according to prosecutors. They were arrested Thursday and charged with felonies.
Investigators are working to determine if the counterfeit health products pose a genuine health risk to consumers.
- First look for obvious signs – a strange picture on the package, strange languages for your locale, strange colors, or strange typeface.
- If the illegitimate product is more sophisticated, however, it can be hard to tell from looking. The next best way is to consider the price paid. If the price was atypically low, without any kind of coupon or special promotion, then it may be illegitimate.
- Counterfeit products will not have the same quality or consistency of real products.
- Also look at the expiration date, as this can be another indicator of a fake.
- Try to shop at established and trusted stores, which are highly likely to be connected to legitimate supply chains.
Criminal Complaint Unit (516) 571-3505Photo: Nassau DA